Sea turtle eggs, hatchlings found burned on Florida beach

FWC investigating, firewood found nearby

By Erik von Ancken - Anchor/Reporter

SATELLITE BEACH, Fla. - A Satellite Beach woman said she discovered several sea turtle eggs and hatchlings burned during her walk on the beach Sunday evening.

The woman, who did not wish to be identified, said the eggs and hatchlings were near the stairs of the walkway down to Hightower Beach.

She was horrified.

"The one thing that was horrible is that there was a baby turtle that was kinda still in its egg," the woman said. "I was like, 'God, they really tortured this thing.'"

The woman said it looked like there had been a party on the beach the night before.

"There was firewood next to all the turtles," the woman said. "They used torches and tortured them."

The woman called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Conservation Commission and officers responded.

An FWC spokesman said the investigation is active and is seeking tips. The person or people who abused the animals will face felony charges.

Other sea turtle nests were damaged by the storm surge and rough waves from Hurricane Dorian.

Some people reported nests that were dislodged or destroyed by the strong surf.

FWC officials said if you spot a sea turtle or nest in distress, call FWC or the Sea Turtle Preservation Society's emergency hotline at 321-206-0646.

Do not move turtles or eggs on your own. Doing so is illegal.

Despite the heavy beach erosion, many of the hatchlings will survive, according to the Sea Turtle Preservation Society.

Sea turtles lay multiple eggs to "hedge their bets" against storms and erosion.

Sea turtles had a record nesting season this year.

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